I remember Dad and I taking our ponies to be shoed by Harry Jackson, the Blacksmith, in Beausale, when I was a little girl during the 1960s. He lived in the little cottage with his sister (Elsie?), and his stable workshop was next to the cottage on the left of the house. He showed me all his Blacksmith’s tools, and told me how sometimes the horses kicked him when he was putting new shoes on them, and ‘knocked the stuffing’ out of him! I was worried that my sister’s pony Frolick would kick him, as he was a nervous pony, but luckily he didn’t. Nor did our horse Lena.
A lovely, kind old man
Dad told me there weren’t many Blacksmiths like Harry Jackson left, he was a lovely, kind old man. I remember the red glow of the fire when he blew the bellows, and the sound of his hammer shaping the horse shoe on the anvil – ‘clang, clang, clang’, each shoe made to be a perfect fit for each individual horse. He would keep quenching the horse shoe, and then lifted the horse’s leg by pulling up its furlock, to check that it was the right shape, and then heated the shoe up again and hammered it to readjust the shape.
His cottage is still there in the village. We lived nearby at The Reddings, Beausale.